10.31.2011 10:15 AM

Free gun advice

Destroying government records, as the Reformatories propose to do with the gun registry data, is against the law.

The Library and Archives of Canada Act demands that the disposal of records managed by government institutions “must occur under processes and procedures which permit the identification and preservation of archival and historical records.”

To be specific, per section 12. 1 of the Act, “no government or ministerial record, whether or not it is surplus property of a government institution, shall be disposed of, including by being destroyed, without the written consent of the Librarian and Archivist or of a person to whom the Librarian and Archivist has, in writing, delegated the power to give such consents.”

So, unless the top Librarian and Archivist has given the okay in advance, which I rather doubt, the Cons have announced that they plan to break their own law.

Ipso facto, call these guys.

You’re welcome.


  1. Windsurfer says:

    As soon as the CON’s find out who that archivist is, they’ll fire him or her. Or gag, obfuscate, confuse or otherwise intimidate. Welcome to the new people’s government.

  2. Allan says:

    Warren read bill C-19, 29(3)
    29. (1) The Commissioner of Firearms shall ensure the destruction as soon as feasible of all records in the Canadian Firearms Registry related to the registration of firearms that are neither prohibited firearms nor restricted firearms and all copies of those records under the Commissioner’s control.
    (2) Each chief firearms officer shall ensure the destruction as soon as feasible of all records under their control related to the registration of firearms that are neither prohibited firearms nor restricted firearms and all copies of those records under their control.
    (3) Sections 12 and 13 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act and subsections 6(1) and (3) of the Privacy Act do not apply with respect to the destruction of the records and copies referred to in subsections (1) and (2)

    C-19 includes an exemption from the Library and Archives of Canada Act and Privacy Act.

    • Warren says:

      It’s not law, one. And, two, they cannot simply decade that they are exempt. They need to seek an exemption, which they haven’t done to your knowledge or mine.

      • Ken says:

        No, they don’t. Basic rules of statutory interpretation. The law is always speaking. If ordinary Statute X says that the provisions of ordinary Statute Y don’t apply to the matter at hand, then they don’t.

        There are nearly 7,000 such “section N of Statute Y does not apply”-provisions in the Statutes of Canada.

        • Warren says:

          Boy, I’m sure hearing from a lot of newbies for the first time, saying “nothing to see, here, move along,” etc.

          • Ken says:

            (Looking around to see who the n00b is.)

            Hey, I’m pretty well agnostic about this whole gun law stuff, but I’m telling you, it’s not a breach of the Archives and Privacy Acts when the third act (the one currently being debated) effectively amends those other two acts so that they don’t apply. Happens all the time. Happened all the time in Chretien’s day, too, and every other PM going back to Westminster.

          • Warren says:

            OMG. I give up. I’m talking about a COMMS strategy. Not a LEGAL one.

          • Jan says:

            Connie has posted this over at Free Dominion. You may need delousing spray.

  3. wilson says:

    Privacy Act

    6 (3) A government institution shall dispose of personal information under the control of the institution in accordance with the regulations and in accordance with any directives or guidelines issued by the designated minister in relation to the disposal of that information.

    37 (3) Subject to any other Act of Parliament, personal information under the custody or control of the Library and Archives of Canada that has been transferred there by a government institution for historical or archival purposes may be disclosed in accordance with the regulations to any person or body for research or statistical purposes.

  4. wilson says:

    Library and Archives Act
    Exception to 12(1)

    12(3) For the purposes of this section, the Librarian and Archivist may have access to a record to which subsection 69(1) of the Access to Information Act applies, only with the consent of the Clerk of the Privy Council and to a government record that contains information the disclosure of which is restricted by or pursuant to any provision set out in Schedule II to that Act, only with the consent of the head of the government institution in question.

  5. Attack! says:

    It’s also such BS what they’re saying, that it’s no loss, since “it would be impossible for the RCMP to be able to use the outdated records”

    Even an non-updated database would still have plenty of uses in tracing seized & recovered crime guns, both to solve murders and to crack down on the illegal flow of arms.

    Just as with car registrations, it would sure give the police a starting point for the last known owner for those which were registered at some point… who’d then be contacted, & would be questioned & provide the names of who they sold or loaned it to, if applicable.

    There are plenty of uses for this thing apart from just the real-time queries when responding to domestic calls or executing arrest warrants or prohibitions.

    Thugs AND liars.

    • R. Ed Neck says:

      It would also give the Hell’s Angels a starting point as well.

      Oh wait, that’s already happened…

      Yah, that centralization of information is REAL convenient.

    • Rob-o says:

      How does more information; make, model, barrel length, and previous owner help police if the gun is stolen?

      Some huge number like 80% of guns that are used in crime are illegal imports from the USA (registry doesn’t help)

      The rest of the guns are stolen in Canada. The registry may help find the previous owner, who is legal and most likely already compensated by insurance for the break in. I fail to see how tracking “this guy” down helps police. The gun was already reported stolen.

      The vast majority of guns used in crime are illegal imports (no registry) or stolen (so already on file with the RCMP).

      Double redundancy is redundant

    • Attack! says:

      I think that was a shot from Gord Sulk about your suing Far-Right Girl, & other libelers before her.

      Do us a favour, Sulky: show the courage of your convictions in disapproving of him by boycotting the site… please.

  6. Craig says:

    Statistics Canada has been destroying datasets for decades. When I was working there way back when, I was asked to dispose of the last remaining copy of a dataset which cost millions to collect. I refused to do this but of course management just found somebody else to do it. The lack of a depository public data archive is a chronic problem in this country in my opinion. There seems to be no understanding that datasets have long term capital value in the context of the heritage of the country. The Public Archives operation has facilitated the destruction to some extent by remaining rigidly focused on the wonderful world of cellulose products and neglecting the digital era to the fullest extent possible.

    • Ken says:

      They are even avoiding dead trees now whenever possible. They stopped collecting political papers ages ago, creating both a digital and a paper historical dark age that Canadian history will never recover from.

  7. Dan says:

    Is this compatible with PIPEDA though? That calls for the destruction of records that are no longer necessary to achieving an organization’s purpose.

  8. GPAlta says:

    Thank you Warren, I believe that the question you raise is valuable:
    Why do they want to destroy these records, even though it would ordinarily be illegal to do so?

    I also think many other questions about this legislation are also valuable:
    Why don’t they care that long gun homicides have decreased 41% since the registry was created?
    Why don’t they care that long guns are still used in 1 of every 5 homicides today?
    Since this act won’t save any money going forward, why do they keep talking about money?
    Who benefits from this legislation?
    What has the role of the firearms industry been in this legislation?
    How can they say the overall gun registry has never worked if it is consulted 17,000 times per day?
    How can they continue to oppose the chiefs of police?

    There is no valid answer to any of these questions that supports the government. They literally are trying to get away with something that is unsafe, unethical, and unusual, and something which most Canadians don’t want them to do, so the real question is:
    Why are they doing this?

    • J.A. says:

      thanks to Warren and GPAlta for very good discussion. To my surprise the local newspaper published my letter with similar questions about the destruction of public records re long gun registry. Of course I got some unpleasant reactions from people who want government to stay out of their gun closets. Yes, it was necessary to give amnesty to long gun owners who had not filed registration, because it should be a free service and not too complex. However I hypothesize that people willing to register a long gun would also be willing to store it safely, according to RCMP rules. Safe firearms storage is “everyone’s concern” according to RCMP website. Safe storage is one way to prevent impulsive acts of theft, family violence, and even suicide (especially of older men). Now if only someone could show that safe storage is linked to willingness to register.
      My second thought was that all the people who paid (before 2006) for registration of a long gun, if they have not yet been reimbursed, should get their claims in FAST before their records are destroyed.
      My third question…does a federal level of gov have the constitutional right to deny a provincial level access to publicly funded data?
      So many questions yet so few MPs willing to answer them!! I agree with Warren that Communications need improvement, and citizens deserve nonpartisan answers.

      • Richard Wakefield says:

        Last question. Yes they do. Precidence has already been set for that many times in the past. The data does NOT belong to the provinces. It’s Federal period.

        As for new guns. People simply arn’t buying until the LGR is gone. I’m not for sure. That hurts business. The sooner this dead horse is burried the better for everyone. No the sky will not fall. No wackos will still not be able to buy firearms. We will just be disposing of a dunsel.

    • R. Ed Neck says:

      A couple of additional questions, since we are on that topic:
      – Why don’t criminals register guns?
      – When did the chiefs of police stop representing their members wishes?
      – Why are innocent Canadians who are legal gun owners information recorded and not criminals?
      – How can we keep gang bangers and other non-legal gun owners off the streets without punishing the innocent?
      – What was the purpose of the registry other than a politically visual convenience to be tough on westerners?
      – Why can’t the police assume that every house has a weapon in it by default rather than rely on questionably transcribed information?
      – How many of the 17 000 consults per day are actually information requests based upon routine traffic stops? How does that compare to regular traffic stops?

      There are no valid answers from those Canadians who are opposing this legislation. It is a matter of political party lines. Perhaps Mr. Kinsella could demand that your political leanings be in the first sentence of this blog – which I am grateful that he has provided. (FWIW, yes, I do vote conservative periodically. More often lately.)

      We could accomplish much if we stopped opposing the parties on general principle and actually thought about where monies could be saved. It might even result in a tax decrease!

  9. minuteman says:

    When the registry is ended, I will sell every gun I own, and buy different ones. The information will be even more totally useless than it already is. Why are you people so keen on keeping uselss information? What do you think it does for anyone? Please explain

    • Rob-o says:

      What is a comms strategy? Lies?

      It would seem that way.

      I don’t have a comm strategy, I just speak the truth. Pretty simple; save yourself the strategy.

  10. Arron D says:

    J.A. They want the registry and it’s immensely inaccurate, embarrassingly outdated, and generally weak data for the same reason children carry around blankets; it makes them ‘feel’ safer. That is sum of all the reasons for the creation of the registry to begin with, and now that it is finally being scrapped, that is the reason to hold on to every scrap of it.

    To imagine that it makes us (them) safer. Someday one of them will discover girls, or boys and this passing fancy will be put back in the closet and forgotten about.

    Who cares that the number of registered weapons used in gun crimes is tiny? what’s a billion dollars to save one life from a gun crime? But think if the assembled governments couldt spend that money on health care and save potentially thousands of lives? At least we can all pretend to be safer.

    • LaserGuy says:

      “They want the registry and it’s immensely inaccurate, embarrassingly outdated, and generally weak data for the same reason children carry around blankets; it makes them ‘feel’ safer. ”


  11. Tiger says:

    Steady on, are you saying Parliament can’t pass a statute that conflicts with an older statute? And calling on the RCMP to intervene?

  12. Ken B says:

    Warren means using a false claim for political advantage.

    • LaserGuy says:

      That was the entire basis of the Liberal Firearms Act to begin with… It was created on a lie, funded by lies, promoted with lies, and now their trying to keep parts of it on life support with lies..

      • Rob-o says:

        Follow the money. An awful lot of people got rich pushing the anti-gun agenda.

        From politicians, to NGOs, to the RCMP, to the ‘chair warmers’ sitting at the CFC, so many people’s meal ticked ride on this.

        They will defend it like a dog with it’s teeth clamped firmly on a T-bone steak.

        That’s what you see here.

  13. james says:

    Yeah Warren they’re sure to lose a lot of votes over this horrible, horrible “comms strategy” problem you’ve brought up. I await the truly damaging hit by Milewski about this one. Oh the horror!

  14. LaserGuy says:

    I consider firearms records to be the same as health records that are no longer needed. Firearm records are NOT historical records of any form. They contain ‘private’ ‘personal’ information on my personal property and myself, and no Government ‘Archive’ or ‘Library’ has the right to warehouse MY personal, private information for retrieval by unknown persons in the future without my explicit consent, and I will NEVER give that consent. The information in those records ‘by law’ cannot be shared with any other organization, or group. The data is corrupt, error riddled, and incomplete. The ONLY reason they want to maintain these error riddled data, is for future police & political witch hunts..

  15. ted white says:

    you are wrong

  16. Rob-o says:

    In a police state, the state hold records on citizens, forever.

    So how is this a “free country” again?

  17. Rob-o says:

    The reason they want to keep the data is because they know when the LGR is deal, 7 million guns are going to come out of the woodwork.

    When the liberal/NDP get back into power eventually, and reintroduce the LGR, they want a list of “good guns”. Previously registered.

    If you have a gun not listed on the “good list” and manufactured before 2011, you are a sneaky bastard and had it hidden during the “dark era” of 1995-2011.

    You will feel the lash of RCMP for your insubordination.

    • Richard Wakefield says:

      No there is an amnisty now. In the future, should any leftist government (definitely not in the next 8 years at least) attempt to make a new registry they may find they will get a small handfull of the guns in Canada. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Go ahead, have the RCMP knock at my door. “Oh, I sold all my rifles years ago.”

      Interesting that the left support breaking the law when they feel justified, but we can’t when we feel justified. Hypocrit.

  18. Graham says:


    I can be accused of being a lot of things, scholar on parliamentary law and procedure certainly isn’t one of them:


    Does C-19 not psecifically say that the Library and Archives of Canada Act does not apply to this Bill?

    Once C-19 is passed by parliament and signed by the GG, will that not then become the law making Library and Archives of Canada Act not applicable to C-19? Parliament will have decided the records can be destroyed.

    Apologies if you’ve already covered this.

  19. Richard Wakefield says:

    So Warren, when the Liberals shreded all their documents when the Conservatives took over was illegal? Hmm, who should be charged then?

  20. William says:

    Supremacy of parliament.

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